Put yourself in an editor’s shoes for a minute if you will…
Say you’re the editor of International Living, a newsletter publication devoted to living, traveling, retiring, and investing overseas (we ran a Featured Publication on it last week).
You’re looking for articles to fill an upcoming issue. You skim quickly through each travel story submission in your inbox, culling and making notes —
TRAVEL STORY SUBMISSION: The best place to get a view from the Eiffel Tower — 600 words. The view from the second platform of the Eiffel Tower could arguably be better (and is certainly cheaper) than going all the way up to the third level. Here’s how you can tell which floor is right for you by considering the weather conditions and your physical abilities.
ED NOTE: Send rejection letter — Not a terrible tidbit of intelligence, but certainly not worthy of 600 words.
TRAVEL STORY SUBMISSION: When in Rome it’s best to stay at the Holiday Inn. The rooms are clean, you have your own private toilet and the staff is pretty friendly. The food they serve downstairs isn’t that great but you’re next to several great restaurants so you can just dine there. The only thing I don’t recommend you do is fly in on Roma Airlines because they lost our bags and treated my husband very rudely.
ED NOTE: Send rejection letter — This recommendation is too generic for my readership. They are savvy, well-traveled people. They are more interested in a good-value finds off-the-beaten-track.
TRAVEL STORY SUBMISSION: See all Europe has to offer in just one day. A day in Las Vegas will have you climbing the Eiffel Tower, cruising the Venice canals and you can even experience a little Egyptian fare by staying at the Luxor.
ED NOTE: Send rejection letter — We only publish articles about destinations outside the U.S.
As the editor, you’re beginning to despair… but then you find in the stack of submissions a few gems —
TRAVEL STORY SUBMISSION: Bargain travel, great art: A weekend in Panama’s San Blas Islands. On a trip to the San Blas Islands, you are escorted by canoe from home to home — stick and thatch huts all. There you can shop for $3 molas (delicately embroidered and quilted fabric patches locals sew onto their clothing, but which also make unusual wall hangings and pillow cases). In this remote, sandy hideaway, the natives have no commercial need for your currency — they’ll use your bills to stuff their chairs or insulate their homes.
ED NOTE: Accept — This is a region I know our readers are interested in. I like the concrete examples of what to do there. It’s not an over-touristed destination, clearly.
TRAVEL STORY SUBMISSION: A tour of Germany’s criminal museum. In this little-known museum you’ll find such torture devices as finger screws (to make people tell the truth)…masks of shame (for people who missed church)… and the so-called “baker’s chairs” for those bad bakers who shorted customers on loaf sizes.
ED NOTE: Accept — Quirky enough to interest our readers.
TRAVEL STORY SUBMISSION: Tax-free profits on Croatian real estate. The city within the walls of Dubrovnik is like Paris’ Isle de la Cite — it’s never going to get any bigger. When it comes to real estate, there’s limited inventory. Only the thing is: An apartment on Isle de la Cite sells for ten- to 14-thousand euro per square meter. An apartment within the city walls of Dubrovnik — Grade A property — can be had for 3,000 to 4,000 euro per square meter. Plus buyers can enjoy all the appreciation likely in the next five-plus years completely free of any capital gains tax. Sell a piece of real estate in Croatia that you’ve owned for three years or longer… and you pay no capital gains. Compare this with France, where you pay capital gains on real estate profits unless you’ve owned the property for more than 15 years.
ED NOTE: Accept — Perfectly targeted to a readership looking for good-value investments overseas.
Now, step back into your own, writer’s shoes and think how your own story idea can pass muster with an editor. What can you do to increase the chances your article will wind up in the pages of a magazine instead of in the editor’s rejection pile? Clearly, knowing the readership and publication are the first steps. Learn more about getting published from Jen Stevens.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]